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Hi everyone,


I was asked to photograph a feature documentary film in a month time and I was wondering if I could get some advice as to what would be the best camera for the job.

It's a documentary essentially filming two people having dinner in a studio set restaurant for the whole film, we are going for the cinematic approach rather an interview documentary.

The fact that we're filming in a studio gives me plenty of control in lighting, which I'm going for an intimate, moody yet natural look.

Our narrative was inffluenced by film My dinner with Andre yet we want to make it more cinematic. I'm going to go the Cooke S4 due to warmth in Skin tone but I've not decided yet which camera would work best.

We're gong for a two camera set up due to the nature of this project to maximise coverage as the shoot is only 5 days.

This film will get threatical release so that needs to be in consideration. I was looking the spect and sensor arri Amira, but being 2k I wasn't sure if it was the right camera for this.


I appreciate any advice on the matter,


Many thanks,



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I reckon the Amira with Cooke S4s would make a lovely combination for a studio setup. That said - are you basically just capturing their conversation in real time? If so, I'd have though a couple of zooms on the cameras would allow you some greater versatility in framing as the conversation progresses.

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1080p is also even often enough for theatrical-- see Ep2 of Star Wars, Tron Legecy, and Avatar, also Apocolypto, just to name a few off of the top of my head.


That said; I also agree with the Amira. Maybe paired with an Optimo, like an Optimo 17~80

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If you're planning on finishing in 2K, My advice would be to shoot 4K so you can reframe. I normally argue the opposite of this and insist that one change lenses to get a new frame. I'm suggesting it only because this is a documentary of a real time conversation and you may not want to have to actually zoom in or swap lenses on every reframe. With 4K acquisition and a 2K finish you can just punch in at any point with no loss in resolution or potential focus changes.


Something to consider. Again, if the budget allows for it. But if you're considering 2 Amira's then, 2 F55's aren't going to be that hard to get.

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